After 87 years of living life to the fullest, Elaine Tabor was welcomed into Heaven on Monday, April 13, 2015.
Elaine was born on March 29, 1928 in Merrill to Ben and Ruby (Briggs) Thompson. In 1946, she graduated from Merrill High School. Elaine met her future husband, Leon (Slim) Tabor while working at the Cosmo Theater. They were married April 28, 1949.
Elaine graduated from Lincoln County Teachers College in 1961. Her education continued with an Elementary Education and Master of Education degrees from UWSP. After her family, teaching was the love of her life. She began her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse Drew School, in Bloomville. Soon after she taught first grade at Midway School, in Gleason and finished her teaching career at Washington School in Merrill in 1990. Elaine received many honors for her numerous accomplishments in her profession. One of the highlights she received was presented by the Wisconsin Association of Teacher Educators for the Cooperating Teacher of the Year for outstanding work in the preparation of teachers. One of the proudest memories of her career was her efforts along with her students to teach them the state legislative process. Elaine took her students to Madison in an attempt to declare the cranberry muffin as a state symbol. She soon affectionately became known as the “Cranberry Muffin Lady”.
Music and singing were a joy for Elaine. She began singing solos in church at the age of five. In later years she enjoyed singing with the Sweet Adelines and in a quartet known as “The Dreambeats”. Her faith in God was a testament to her life and the way she lived. Elaine was instrumental in the building fund and completion of the new Bible Presbyterian Church. She served as both teacher and director of the Sunday School. Singing in the church choir, participating in the Bethany Guild Women’s Group and several Bible Study Groups were all an important part of her life. Elaine began the Tug Lake Bible study group which today includes a winter chapter in Florida. Elaine was an accomplished golfer and participated in area golf leagues and played several years in the Channel 7 Invitational Golf Tournaments. She was very passionate about golfing and took pride in her putting skills. Slim and Elaine enjoyed extensive travels around the world visiting every continent except Antarctica. Various trips included a scenic boat ride down the Amazon River, climbing the steps at Macchu Piccu, walking on the Great Wall of China, driving through the outback of Australia, a three week safari in Africa and numerous tours through Europe. Special family memories include: her pancakes, her Christmas fudge, playing her harmonica by the campfire and eating s’mores, pontoon rides around the lake, playing the piano, telling stories of her travels to other lands, walks in the woods and playing in the flour with matchbox cars.
Elaine is survived by her cherished and devoted husband of 65 years, Slim, her daughter, Cathy (Bruce) Bandow and son, Pete (Joan) Tabor and stepsons, Jim and Terry (Barb). Elaine is further survived by her grandchildren, Shelly (Stephen) Fisher , Blair (Jenny) Bandow, Ben Tabor and Allison Tabor and her step grandchildren; Cindy (William) Rogers and Jennifer (Michael) Faber. Her great grandchildren are Grace and Izzy Fisher and Drew and Reese Bandow. Step grandchildren include Alexandra and Samantha Rogers and Nicole and Jessica Faber. Elaine is further survived by her two sisters, Ruth (George) Heidemann and Nancy (Bill) McLay, brother Roy (Sandy)Thompson and many other loving family members and friends. Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, stepson, Dennis and brothers, Ted, Don, Ralph and David and sister, Gloria.
Our family would like to acknowledge the compassionate care given to Elaine by the staff of the Cardiac ICU at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau. Our special thanks go to Lisa, Robert, Jayanna, Stephanie, Dr. Miles, Dr. Butler and Dr. Riveron.
Funeral Services for Elaine will be held on Monday at 11AM at the Bible Presbyterian Church in Merrill, WI. Visitation will be held on Sunday evening from 3-7PM at the Bible Presbyterian Church in Merrill and also on Monday beginning at 10AM until the time of the service, also held at the church. Pastor Robert Smallman will be officiating. Entombment will take place at Merrill Memorial Park following the service.
Waid Funeral Home of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.waidfuneral.com.